Given the state of health of a person and considering his or her child consent, can the doctor compel the patient to receive health care, namely in a nursing home, despite the patient’s refusal?
The answer is no.
Indeed, the Civil Code of Québec provides that the court’s permission is required if a person of full age is incapable of giving consent and categorically refuses to receive the care needed, unless it’s for hygiene care or in a case of emergency.
Thus, the judge will determine the inability of the patient to consent to medical care. For guidance in this process, case law has established five criteria:
- Does the person understand the nature of the disease for which the treatment is being offered?
- Does the person understand the nature and the purpose of the treatment?
- Does the person grasp the risks and benefits of the treatment if he or she undergoes the procedure?
- Does the person understand the risks of not undergoing the treatment?
- Does the person have the ability to understand that he or she is affected by the illness?
Thus, it is especially in respect of the case law, the evidence, the facts and the testimony that the judge will determine whether a person is fit or unfit to consent to health care, and namely to a nursing home. If the person is considered unable to consent or to refuse the care, the court may grant the hospital the responsibility for the persons care demands.
Indeed, the Court must also decide whether the care offered by the hospital is required by the state of health of the person.
In summary, before allowing the hospital to provide care to a patient without his consent, the judge will establish the inability of the patient to consent to care and verify the need of care offered.
Text written by Me Virginie Damien, Attorney / Translated by Andrey Leshyner